A Landmark Moment
Recently, yet another visit to hospital provided a landmark moment in my sheltered life (I'm only allowed out to see doctors, dentists and opticians and am hardly ever allowed to cross the road on my own).
On this occasion the great event began when I joined the herd of patients, visitors and staff waiting to cross the dual carriageway (that should really be duel – between traffic and pedestrians). On reaching the far side I was trailing in the rear of the mob going straight on towards the main door when a female decided to bung a sudden and unexpected left, and I caught a trailing medium heel. After a pirouette that looked like a novice couple at their first rehearsal for Dancing on Ice, and mutual apologies, I set off after the rest of the field. Just a few yards on, and still in shock, I was astonished to hear a mellifluous and extremely friendly girlish voice call out, 'Hiya, honey,' in my immediate rear.
This was it, I thought, after 50 years – THE LYNX EFFECT has finally worked! No longer the wimp who has sand kicked in his face, or the sad loser with a bunch of wilting flowers the vision runs past to the hulk entering stage left. I had finally 'got the girl' as promised by the advert*.
I rotated my head and there she was – young (well, -ish, everyone is to me), blonde from a bottle because she knew she was worth it, pancaked in that make-up the professionals use, exuding a perfume so powerful that any man would jump off a cliff to reach her (or to inhale some clear air) – and talking into a mobile phone.
My deflation was faster than an undercooked soufflé emerging from the oven. The rainbow disappeared, the sun went in, the birds in the car park stopped coughing, and the hospital facade returned to its forbidding, steely grey. I turned and tottered on towards the open maw of the super-bugged entrance, dumbly ready for whatever fate awaited me inside. At least for a split second I'd almost had the moment – but just maybe, (is it possible?), adverts are just as fanciful as a political party's manifesto…?
*For the strict historical record, it should have been set down as the IMPERIAL LEATHER EFFECT – but such is the power of branding, that the first description carries the day, just as hoovering has become a synonym for vacuuming even when a Dyson or Miele is employed.